Month of prayer

As you will see from the archbishops letter, they have called us to make November in particular a month of concerted prayer.  6pm is identified as a moment when we can all pause for a moment of prayer together wherever we may be.  (Also see Revd Toby’s Newsletter  to find out what more we can do.)

The suggested focus for each day of the week is as follows –

Sunday – family, friends and loved ones

Monday – schools and colleges, children and young people

Tuesday – the elderly, isolated and vulnerable

Wednesday – businesses, the workplace and economic wellbeing

Thursday – the NHS and other keyworkers

Friday – national and local government

And attached here is a leaflet of  some suggested prayers for each day, as recommended by the archbishops.


United Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors

Worship on the Sunday before Advent – Feast of Christ the King




The Lord be with you
All        And also with you.


Loving God, we have come to worship you.

All       Help us to pray to you in faith,

to sing your praise with gratitude,

and to listen to your word with eagerness;

through Christ our Lord.  Amen.





Crown Him with many crowns,
The Lamb upon His throne;
Hark how the heavenly anthem drowns,
All music but its own.
Awake my soul and sing,
Of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King,
Through all eternity.

Crown Him the Lord of love,
Behold His hands and side,
Those wounds yet visible above,
In beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky,
Can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his burning eye,
At mysteries so bright.

Crown Him the Lord of peace,
Whose power a sceptre sways,
From pole to pole,
That wars may cease,
And all be prayer and praise.
His reign shall know no end,
And round His pierced feet,
Fair flowers of paradise extend,
Their fragrance ever sweet.

Crown Him the Lord of years,
The Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres,
Ineffably sublime.
All hail Redeemer hail,
For Thou hast died for me,
Thy praise shall never never fail,
Throughout eternity.





Prayers of penitence

All       Most merciful God,

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

we confess that we have sinned

in thought, word and deed.

We have not loved you with our whole heart.

We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.

In your mercy

forgive what we have been,

help us to amend what we are,

and direct what we shall be;

that we may do justly,

love mercy,

and walk humbly with you, our God.



Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent,

Have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins,

confirm and strengthen you in all goodness

and keep you in life eternal, through Jesus Christ our Lord.



First Reading
Ephesians 1:15-23

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God


Second reading
Matthew 25:31-46

‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

‘Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was ill and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

‘Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison and go to visit you?”

‘The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

‘Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was ill and in prison and you did not look after me.”

‘They also will answer, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or ill or in prison, and did not help you?”

‘He will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”

‘Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.’

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God




Affirmation of faith

All   I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.


I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.


I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.




When I needed a neighbour
Were you there, were you there
When I needed a neighbour were you there?

And the creed and the colour
And the name won’t matter,
Were you there?

I was hungry and thirsty,
Were you there, were you there,
I was hungry and thirsty, were you there?

I was cold, I was naked,
Were you there, were you there,
I was cold I was naked, were you there?

When I needed a shelter,
Were you there, were you there,
When I needed a shelter, were you there?

When I needed a healer
Were you there, were you there,
When I needed a healer, were you there?

Wherever you travel,
I’ll be there, I’ll be there,
Wherever you travel, I’ll be there.

And the creed and the colour
And the name won’t matter,
I’ll be there.


Prayers of intercession

Lord sometimes you speak in wonders unmistakable, and clear mighty signs to prove your presence overcoming doubt and fear.

Lord you sometimes speak in whispers, still and small yet scarcely heard; only those who want to listen catch the all-important word.

Lord you sometimes speak in silence through our loud and noisy days; we can know and trust you better when we quietly wait and pray.

Lord you often speak in scripture, words that summon from the page, shown and taught us by your spirit into fresh light in every age.

Lord you always speak in Jesus, always new yet still the same. Teach us more of our Saviour, make our lives display his name.


Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


At Advent time Lord we thank you for your promise to return to this world, not as a tiny baby but as a triumphant king. Keep us watchful against temptation and joyous in your service for your name’s sake.


Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


Heavenly Father as we prepare for Christmas, especially in these troubled times we are living through, help us in all the business of these days to find time to think of what Christmas really means; for your love for the world of the coming promised Redeemer, of the wonder of the world made flesh. May we, like Mary, treasure these things and ponder on Christmas Day, when hopefully we can all be together and ready to join in the joyful worship of the church and give glory to your name.


Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


Heavenly Father we thank you for our homes and family, for our food and clothing and for all the happiness that parents and children can share. We ask that your love may surround us, your care may protect us and that we may know your peace at all times for Jesus sake.


Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


Teach us good Lord to serve you as you deserve. To give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and not to ask for any reward, except that of knowing your will, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.


Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


Oh God the source of life and health, we pray for those who are ill. Give doctors and nurses skills to make them well again and grant that, during their illness, they may learn more of your love and care, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


Be with us Lord as we go out into the world. May our lips always speak the truth; may our ears which have heard your word listen only to what is good; and may our lives as well as our worship be always pleasing in your sight, for the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord.


Merciful Father,

accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

A moment of silent prayer



God the Father,

help us to hear the call of Christ the King

and to follow in his service,

whose kingdom has no end;

for he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, one glory.

All       Amen.


The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven…



Jesus is King and I will extol Him
Give Him the glory and honor His name
He reigns on high enthroned in the heavens
Word of the Father exalted for us

We have a hope that is steadfast and certain
Gone through the curtain and touching the throne
We have a Priest who is there interceding
Pouring His grace on our lives day by day

We come to Him our Priest and Apostle
Clothed in His glory and bearing His name
Laying our lives with gladness before Him
Filled with His Spirit we worship the King

O Holy One our hearts do adore You
Thrilled with Your goodness we give You our praise
Angels in light with worship surround Him
Jesus our Savior forever the same.


Final prayer

Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people,

That they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works,

May be you be plenteously rewarded,

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.



Christ the king make you faithful and strong to do his will,

That you may reign with him in glory,

and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son

and the Holy Spirit, be amongst you and remain with you always.


All        Amen!




Common Worship is (c) Copyright Archbishops Council of the Church of England

Biblical texts are from the Holy Bible New International Version Anglicised (NIV-UK) is (c) Copyright Biblica, Inc

When I needed a neighbour by Syndey Carter is (c) Copyright 1965 Stainer & Bell Ltd

Jesus is King by Wendy Churchill is (c) Copyright 1981 Authentic Publishing, admin by CopyCare

Copyright songs reproduced under CCL licence 206171 and streamed under CCL licence 71318








Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors

Revd Toby Webber, The Vicarage, Church Street, Clayton-le-Moors, BB5 5HT   (01254) 384321


November 2020

Dear friends

I write as we enter another ‘national lockdown’.  It is not as intense, and is designed not to be as lengthy, as that which marked our spring and early summer.  But it comes at a time when many of us are ‘fed up with the whole thing’ and just wish it away – and in a season of the year which is less hopeful and more melancholic.  We are conscious that this time around our region is the worst affected with our local hospitals already caring for many patients with severe Covid infections.  You may have seen the CNN news report from the Royal Blackburn( – it makes for very powerful viewing.  There are things to be thankful for, though, particularly the improvements in therapy for Covid patients, and initiatives like the virtual Covid ward reaching out to patients in the community, preventing deterioration and helping them recover.  We must do all that we each can to make the lockdown, with all its pains, as effective as it can be in reducing the transmission of the virus.  We want to keep our own loved ones and community safe, and to help those working so incredibly hard in our hospitals.  Hospital Chaplain Revd David Anderson writes on the ELHT website, ‘Many of us have not recovered from what we went through last time and sometimes knowing what is to come can make it worse. One senior doctor said to me, “The virus is just as strong, but right now I feel weaker.”’

Amongst the pains of the lockdown will be the closure once again of our church buildings for public worship.  As before – and indeed as has continued throughout – we will do what we can to join together through the help of modern technology.  You will be able to view our Sunday services and our Friday Praise each week – either live or on catch up.  And we are continuing to offer Night Prayer daily (except Fridays) at 9:30pm.  Many people have found this to be a helpful moment for quiet reflection, intercession and focus on God at the end of the day.  Don’t forget, you can access all this without needing a Facebook account – just head to .  And if you’re not on-line why not try ringing the Daily Hope freephone number on 0800 804 8044?

Month of prayer

As you will see from the attached letter, our archbishops have called us to make November in particular a month of concerted prayer.  6pm is identified as a moment when we can all pause for a moment of prayer together wherever we may be.  And Thursdays are identified as a day which we can dedicate as a day of focussed prayer for our NHS and carers.  One ancient and biblical discipline of the church is to fast as a way of devoting ourselves and our prayer more deeply to God.  We are encouraged to fast in some way on these Thursdays – perhaps we can give up one meal, or our snacks, or give up meat and dairy.  Or perhaps give up something different – tv and social media.  Not for its own sake, but to help us to focus on what really matters.  I hope that the people of All Saints’ and St James’ will be wholehearted in making this lockdown month a time of prayer.  For we know how much our community, our nation and our world need our prayers at this time.

There is a suggested focus for our prayers each day (for more details

Sunday – family, friends and loved ones

Monday – schools and colleges, children and young people

Tuesday – the elderly, isolated and vulnerable

Wednesday – businesses, the workplace and economic wellbeing

Thursday – the NHS and other keyworkers

Friday – national and local government

Saturday – all who are grieving, and all suffering with physical and mental ill-health

Looking to December

As we approach December we will respond to whatever ‘happens next’ in terms of regulations and guidance.  Hopefully it will be possible to have church services taking place during Advent and Christmas.  The decision has in any case been taken to have the busiest and most song based services on-line.  Christingle will be shared on zoom on Friday 18th December at 6:30pm.  The carol service will be premiered on Facebook on the afternoon of Sunday 20th December.  And the crib service, including contributions from All Saints’ School, will premiere on Facebook on Christmas Eve at 4pm.  We hope to be able to distribute CDs of the carol service to those unable to access the internet.  Look out, too, for the Advent Calendar Windows which will light up around the community during December.  One will be unveiled/lit up each day and you will be able to go and find them, or view them on Facebook.  More details on all this will follow in due course.

The food bank was very grateful for everything collected as part of our harvest celebrations through church and school.  In this time of high demand, please don’t forget that this is a very practical way of helping those in urgent need.  If you can, please continue to drop off food or other items at the Baptist Church on Sparth Road, or the collecting points including the Co-Op and Champs.

The church remains very grateful, too, to those who are continuing to support our work, and towards meeting our ongoing costs.  If you would like to give by standing order or a one-off bank transfer during these times, we can happily let you have the details. However one easy way to continue supporting the work of our church (especially during lockdown) is to give through this easy to use online giving page. Everyone’s support is appreciated as it still costs almost as much to maintain the ministry and the building as normal, yet our church income is reduced.

I write this as we prepare for Remembrance Day and just after we have celebrated All Saints’ Day.  This time of year always reminds us of both the preciousness and the fragility of human life.  It also reminds us that with God’s help people have endured much before and have shown great courage and resilience.  May we, like them, keep the faith.  May we, like them, be good comrades, looking out for each other, and especially the vulnerable.  May we, like them put our trust in ‘God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter in the stormy blast and our eternal home.’

Yours in Christ ,



We are offering a brand new short act of worship especially suited for families. These will take place on the second Sunday of each month between 2:00 – 2:30pm in church.

The first of these new family services will be on the 13th September.

Booking will be essential via this link .  Please book ONE ticket per family / bubble. Please give priority to families for this service.

At present we can’t share refreshments or sing, (though we can do actions), but we can enjoy being in church to worship our  Heavenly Father.


An Order for Night Prayer (Compline)

The ancient office of Compline derives its name from a Latin word meaning ‘completion’ (completorium). It is above all a service of quietness and reflection before rest at the end of the day. 



The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.

All  Amen.

Our help is in the name of the Lord

All  who made heaven and earth.


A period of silence for reflection on the past day may follow.

The following or other suitable words of penitence may be used


All    Most merciful God, we confess to you,

before the whole company of heaven and one another,

that we have sinned in thought, word and deed

and in what we have failed to do.

Forgive us our sins, heal us by your Spirit

and raise us to new life in Christ. Amen.


O God, make speed to save us.

All    O Lord, make haste to help us.

All    Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever.




The following or another suitable hymn may be said or sung


Before the ending of the day,

Creator of the world, we pray

That you, with steadfast love, would keep

Your watch around us while we sleep.

From evil dreams defend our sight,

From fears and terrors of the night;

Tread underfoot our deadly foe

That we no sinful thought may know.

O Father, that we ask be done

Through Jesus Christ, your only Son;

And Holy Spirit, by whose breath

Our souls are raised to life from death.

The Word of God

One or more of Psalms 4, 91 and 134 may be used daily.
Or Sundays Psalm 104:1, 21-33, Monday Psalm 86, Tuesday Psalm 143, Wednesday Psalm 31:1-5, 19-end, Thursday Psalm 16, Friday Psalm 139:1-18, Saturday Psalm 91

Scripture Reading

One of the following short lessons or another suitable passage

Sunday: You, O Lord, are in the midst of us and we are called by your name; leave us not, O Lord our God.  (Jeremiah 14.9)


Monday: Thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. (Isaiah 30:15)


Tuesday: Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ (Matthew 11:28-30)


Wednesday: Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.’ (1 Peter 5:6,7)


Thursday: Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, seeking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in the faith. (1 Peter 5.8, 9)


Friday: God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. (1 Thess 5:9,10)


Saturday: A sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labours as God did from his.  Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest.  (Hebrews 4:9-11a)


The following responsory may be said

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

All  Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

For you have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.

All  I commend my spirit.

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit.

All  Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.


Keep me as the apple of your eye.

All  Hide me under the shadow of your wings.

Gospel Canticle: The Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon)


All  Save us, O Lord, while waking, and guard us while sleeping,

that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep may rest in peace.


1    Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:  ♦

your word has been fulfilled.

2    My own eyes have seen the salvation  ♦

which you have prepared in the sight of every people;

3    A light to reveal you to the nations  ♦

and the glory of your people Israel.

All  Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

All  Save us, O Lord, while waking, and guard us while sleeping,

that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep may rest in peace.

Time for your own prayers of thanksgiving and intercession


Visit this place, O Lord, we pray, and drive far from it the snares of the enemy; may your holy angels dwell with us and guard us in peace, and may your blessing be always upon us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Our Father, who art in heaven

The Conclusion

In peace we will lie down and sleep;

All  for you alone, Lord, make us dwell in safety.

Abide with us, Lord Jesus,

All  for the night is at hand and the day is now past.

As the night watch looks for the morning,

All  so do we look for you, O Christ.

The Lord bless us and watch over us;

the Lord make his face shine upon us and be gracious to us;

the Lord look kindly on us and give us peace.

All  Amen.

Common Worship: Daily Prayer is © Copyright Archbishops Council of the Church of England.  Used by permission.

This Lent we are focussing on St John’s Gospel.  It is a beautiful gospel with something for everyone – someone said it is “Deep enough for an elephant to swim and shallow enough for a child not to drown.”

Our Lent homegroups give the perfect opportunity to look at some of the great signs St John picks out to highlight who Jesus is and what he brings.  Anyone is welcome to join the groups – choose whichever time suits you better.  No prior experience or understanding is assumed, we’ll look at a passage together, aided by a simple study guide, and discuss our responses.

We have groups meeting in different homes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening.  We also have a group meeting in church on Wednesday mornings, 11:15am followed by a soup lunch and a group meeting at Altham Church at 10:45 on Sundays.

Full details of venues are on the Lent leaflet available at church.



Dear Lord,                                                                                                                                                                       Help me remember what a difference it makes                                                                                                         when I make time with You a priority in my morning.                                                                                               Awaken me in body and spirit each day with a desire to meet with You                                                               and to hear You speak words of affirmation, assurance, and wisdom                                                                        over my heart as I prepare to go into my day.


A massive thank you and well done to the organising team, craft workers, window decorators and helpers for a stunning festival. Thanks also to all those who supported the event, brought along friends, attended the concert or Carl Service; bought produce or raffle tickets. All helped in making the festival a success.

Below are a few photos to try and capture the essence of the festival.



Why not come and join in our next Scargill Weekend which will take place from Friday 16th until Sunday 18th October 2020?

Scargill is a Christian based community of people who live, work and pray together and the purpose of the weekend is to spend time together as a church family.

The cost for an adult is £140 (or £160 if you are in an en-suite room). Please request an en-suite room early  if this is important to you as they were in high demand last time. For children the cost is reduced by Scargill, and further subsidies by the church. So the weekend is FREE for the under 5s; JUST £21 for 5-7s; £35 for 8s – 11s and £49 for 12s – 16s, (plus a supplement for en-suite). If anyone would be genuinely unable to attend due to cost, please have a quiet word and we will seek to help.

We ask for a 10% deposit at the time of booking – and you can pay the remainder in instalments. Deposits are not refundable after June, and full payment must be received by min – September 2020.

Booking forms can be found in this moth’s news letter, copies of which are at the back of church.